primephonic, a superior quality classical music platform, designed and developed in the Netherlands by a team of 10 classical music specialists, is now launching in North America. Founded in 2015, primephonic offers classical music downloads in formats ranging from WAV, to FLAC, to DSD – with no compressed files or degraded sound – and will follow later this year with an equally high-quality streaming service. Already offering music from a host of superb labels, primephonic expands to include the Sony Classical catalogue this month. With its unsurpassed detail and dynamic sound, sophisticated and thorough metadata, a vibrant online community, and a huge range of recordings, primephonic is unrivalled as the central platform for classical music online.
Dirk Jan Vink, Managing Director of primephonic, comments: “primephonic offers a vast treasure chest of sound that embodies the richness of artistry and audio throughout the ages. Our mission is to deliver digital music in the same audio format in which they came into being – an uncensored and uncondensed classical music experience.” As the head of PENTATONE – renowned for its superb sound – Vink recognized that the download providers in the market were not sufficient for the classical label’s needs. Thus, the idea was born to build a bridge between classical music and the digital world by establishing a better download platform that would be open and available for all classical music labels.
The UK-based audiophile magazine What High-Fi? praised primephonic earlier this year, saying: “With a great catalogue, superb website and useful extra content, not to mention a growing community, it is much more than just a download site … this is the place to be if you’re a classical music fan.”
The question of reliable metadata has plagued classical music enthusiasts since the debut of download sites like iTunes, as well as with more recent streaming platforms. In a widely-discussed article from June 2015, NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas wrote: “If that metadata is wrong, or — as is so often the case — incomplete, then there’s a big problem. Call it the “tree falling in a forest” conundrum: If classical recordings can’t be found and heard, they functionally cease to exist.” And, in a despairing article entitled “The Tragedy of iTunes and Classical Music” from July 2015, The Atlantic commented that iTunes’ metadata systems “really, really fall apart when they need to classify classical music.” Accurate and thoroughly searchable metadata is a top priority for primephonic’s team of passionate classical music experts, who carefully index every aspect of an album before adding to the catalogue. Finally, primephonic offers the metadata solution, for the classical music industry and customers alike.
Responding to both frustrated audiophiles and to a culture that has settled for the inferior, ubiquitous MP3, primephonic offers sound quality even superior to CD. primephonic’s downloads are offered in three uncompressed file formats: WAV (stereo) FLAC (stereo/surround) and DSD (stereo/surround).
In addition to music downloads, primephonic offers informative features in its extensive news section including reviews, artist features and interviews, daily news insights about classical music and high-end audio, and historical information. Also an all-inclusive music community, primephonic is a meeting place, with a user profile system and an interactive platform interface. Within the primephonic community, conversations are facilitated among audiophiles, hardware manufacturers, audio magazines, labels, performers, and classical music lovers.
Already featuring a selection of excellent independent labels, primephonic is delighted to be adding the complete Sony Classical catalogue to its offerings for the UK and the US markets, including recordings from artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, and many other great stars. New releases from Sony Classical will be the first to be available on primephonic, followed by a huge selection of albums from the entire catalogue of more than 8,000 albums over the next months.
At the end of 2016, primephonic will also launch the beta version of its streaming platform in the UK and the US. More details will soon be announced regarding primephonic’s streaming subscription service.
For more information on the many features primephonic has to offer, please also view the current primephonic magazine. The new issue of primephonic’s magazine will be released at the end of May 2016.